Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper has reported that highly classified intelligence materials shared by Swedish authorities with their Turkish counterparts were discovered on the smartphone of a gang member associated with Rawa Majid, infamously known as the "Kurdish Fox."
Majid is wanted in Sweden on charges of "drug trafficking and attempted murder."
Already tense Ankara-Stockholm relations due to NATO membership discussions and Quran-burning incidents have been further strained by this new claim.
A source in the Swedish police was quoted as saying that the confidential information was "probably leaked by an unknown official in Turkey.” The news report assessed these allegations as a serious breach of the rules on information sharing between countries.
The Swedish police determined that the gang members associated with Majid accessed this information in 2022 and also emphasized that this intelligence was shared at the "highest level."
The police source described the transfer of intelligence to the gang during the “Snake Operation,” launched to capture Majid, as a "scandal."
The source stated, "It is not good for such information to reach gang members because it means that criminals find out what the police know about them and understand how the police are operating against them."
Majid in 2022 was compelled to go to the police after forgetting a bag containing a substantial amount of foreign currency and Turkish Lira in a park in Mediterranean Marmaris province. However, his actions raised suspicions, leading to his arrest.
Upon the revelation of the true identity of the “Kurdish Fox,” who had assumed the identity of an Iraqi shipowner, Turkish police discovered that a red notice had been issued for him, resulting in his arrest.
Nonetheless, Turkey rejected Sweden's extradition request, and a few weeks later and released him. It was revealed that Majid had been granted Turkish citizenship.
Journalist Timur Soykan has reported that Majid has a house and an office in Istanbul according to court documents that he accessed.
According to police sources speaking to VICE World News in April 2023, Europe's most sought-after criminals are managing to avoid arrest by obtaining Turkish citizenship.
Individuals involved in large-scale drug trafficking are reportedly utilizing Turkey's practice of providing citizenship to investors, while also leveraging the country's decision to decline extradition requests for its recently naturalized citizens.
The Turkish government launched the "Golden Passport" program in 2018 that grants citizenship in return for an investment of $400,000 in order to attract investors and boom construction sector despite the opposition’s criticisms.